Boys’ basketball looks to follow key wins from last season with State run this season

Boys%27+basketball+is+putting+in+daily+work+in+order+to+achieve+their+goal+of+winning+the+State+Championship+this+season%2C+as+they+practice+every+day+in+the+Great+Hall+or+Haben+Center.+

Amira Carter

Boys' basketball is putting in daily work in order to achieve their goal of winning the State Championship this season, as they practice every day in the Great Hall or Haben Center.

After an impressive 2015 campaign that included a 17-9 record and signature wins over Chaska and DeLaSalle, the BSM boys’ basketball team is looking to continue to improve, and to return to dominance as a top-tier Minnesota high school basketball program.

Even though the winter sports season is just beginning, the boys’ basketball team has been working hard throughout the offseason, taking advantage of every opportunity to improve. “Everyday during the summer, we’d be at school coaching kids’ camps in the morning, and working out and practicing in the afternoon,” senior captain Michael Wexler said.

The team will have to cope with the loss of some key seniors that contributed to a successful year last season. “It’s hard to replace guys like Sam Baker, Matt Lillienthal, or Eli Cave. It’ll be tough, but we have a lot of young guys who are ready to step up and play big minutes,” senior captain Will Whitmore said.

Baker led the team in 2015 with 17.7 points per game, and while certainly a high mark, Wexler believes that they can fill this void. “I think we can pick up where we left off, and improve even more. The chemistry that we’ve already built from the summer, I believe, gives us an edge; we’ll need each other to succeed,” he said.

It’ll be up to this year’s captains, along with some key underclassmen, to set the tone for this season. “It starts with senior leadership, so Michael [Wexler], Derek [Drees], and I will have to step up. But we’ve got some underclassmen that will play big roles this year–guys like [sophomore] Jamison Battle and [junior] Joe Dunn have been working hard on their game–and will need to build off solid 2015 campaigns,” Whitmore said.

The team is anchored by a coaching staff with many years under its belt. “The coaches are always there, and they’re always helping us to get better,” Wexler said. Anchored by long-time head coach John Moore, the staff will see a new addition in a former player and new BSM faculty member, Seborn Yancy. “As a guy who’s been in the program, and knows the culture of BSM basketball, I think Mr. Yancy will be a great addition for this team,” Whitmore said. Yancy is in the top ten for most points scored in BSM history, with 1,039 points.

The regular season schedule is not an easy one for the Red Knights, but as Wexler explained, the tough schedule is beneficial to the team. “We have a very tough schedule, but we’ll be fine, as the tough schedule makes us better. We might’ve lost some pieces, but we play better as a team now; we play to each other’s strengths,” he said.

The goals are set high for the boys’ basketball team, but they’ll have to put in the work first. “We want to beat DeLaSalle again, win our conference, and win our section. With all those smaller goals being achieved, I believe we can fulfill the big one and not only make to state, but win it,” Wexler said.